Unwanted Breastfeeding Advice: My Spare Breast

This blog is inspired by two happenings. The first is a thread in the forums about us poor moms who endure countless quips about when the baby will start formula, how we have to supplement or various other myths about breastfeeding. The second happening is my own unwanted breastfeeding advice wrought down upon me by my daughter falling down the stairs and sustaining a large goose egg on the forehead. . .but let me back up.

One of the twins fell down the stairs this weekend. As is my custom when my children are hurt like this, I proceeded to nurse her. There is a very good reason I do this. Have you ever tried to ascertain the extent of an injury on a toddler or baby whose just sustained an injury? It’s not that easy. Nursing tells me first that the baby is breathing well, but it also allows me to get her calm enough to check out the rest of her body. Call it motherly instinct. . .it’s just what I do.

So when my darling, 28 month old ‘baby’ toddled down the stairs head first, I began to nurse to the absolute horror of all those standing around. It’s not the first time someone has told me I nurse my babies too long but to put it bluntly, I don’t care. (When they come to show me the research that counter indicates nursing a toddler, I’ll change my ways.) It is however, the first time that I’ve actually had to hold back laughter, at someone’s response.

Astonished, unnamed, wide eyed person says: “Why are you doing that?”

“Doing what?” answers concerned mother who is busily checking over injured toddler.

“Breastfeeding a toddler. And she’s a twin no less!” answers wide eyed, unnamed person.

To which my husband and I look at her quizzically. So I ask (and I admit this is probably my mistake), “Why does it matter if she’s a twin?”

“Well because you only have two breasts! How is it possible to breastfeed twins? If they’re nursing you wouldn’t have a spare!”

Um. . .huh? I couldn’t answer without laughing so I just pretended to not hear exactly what she had said lest I laugh in her face, right there. . .really loud.

My Spare Breast

I have often wished for spare hands since I’ve had my children but not once have I longed for a spare breast. I cannot even keep a straight face long enough to ask my husband if he would want me to have a spare breast. . .but I highly suspect that he’s fine with just the two that I have since three breasted women are a little different.

So here’s a newsflash lady: Toddlers can be breastfed. In fact, if you can do it, you should–it’s healthy for them. Twins can be breastfed and in fact, twins in general tend to be immunologically weaker so if you can, you really should do it–it‘s healthy for them. They don’t tend to nurse at the same times anyways but if they do, most women have two breasts in order to accomplish this amazing feat. But beyond that. . .even triplets, quadruplets or more can be breastfed. Since breasts make milk based on what is demanded, two breasts are all that are needed. No spare breasts necessary, thank you very much!

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